Creating An Eye Catching And Beautiful Rock Garden Is Easy And Long Lasting

Elvis Elvis

There are 3 primary types of rock gardens… 1- natural, 2- artificial, or 3- a combination of both artificial & natural. You are lucky and have it much easier if your property already has large rocks, strewn boulders, and maybe a small cliff or hill. Even if your land is flat, you can create a great rock garden with a little imagination.

Creating a Rock Garden from Scratch:

Location & Design:

With a rock garden, you have the opportunity to create “micro-environments”. You can have some plants in the shade while others in the sun. Additionally, some of your plants can be positioned in a “micro-wetland” while others are in a “micro-drought” area. You are in control but it begins with planning the site and designing in your ideas on the front end.

Creating An Eye Catching And Beautiful Rock Garden Is Easy And Long Lasting

* A fountain, small stream, or pool of water will add uniqueness and charm to your rock garden.

* Keep in mind your ideas on flowers and plants. If they need more or less shade it may influence where you start your garden.

* You can mix shade & sun plants. Place your rock garden so it gets some shade and some sun.

* Plan on a sufficient number of large flat stones to act as a place to stand while tending your garden.

* Visit some sites that have rock gardens to get ideas for layouts and flora.

* It’s your choice, but overcrowding with too many rocks, décor, or plants may give a cluttered look.

Rock Garden Soil:

Making your rock gardens soil ready for planting flora is a critical step. You can better the overall soil texture and nutrient content of your garden. Do this by:

* Mixing in additives such as chips of crushed rock, coarse sand, and perlite to increase texture.

* Add crushed limestone, crushed clam shells, or oyster shells for alkaline soil plants.

* Add generous amounts of leaf mold, peat moss, compost, or other organic materials for woodland plants.

Creating An Eye Catching And Beautiful Rock Garden Is Easy And Long Lasting

Rock Placement:

You’ll be working with whatever landscape in on your property. Sometimes it’s easier to work with irregular terrain or a hillside. This presents you with the easy option of creating terraces and getting a more visual effect of the entire garden. Even if your land is totally flat, you can create any effect with landscaping ideas and effort.

* Dig everything out of the area to reduce any weeding later on.

* Dig holes where you feel some rocks might be placed.

* The best landscapers achieve a natural look by exposing only part of the rock because it gives the impression the rocks are emerging from bedrock below.

* Have a load of different sized rocks delivered (look under rock – no pun intended – in the phone book).

* By using a landscaping company they will also have the means to place the rocks which is very important with the larger ones.

* If you are placing the rocks yourself, start at the base of the slope and work upwards (a professional landscaper should already know this).

* Tilt your stones backwards towards the slope and burry them up to halfway for stability and water movement.

* Position your rocks so that the most interesting and weathered face shows.

Flower & Plant Placement:

Plan your flower and plant placement upfront. This is important so you’ll make accommodations for your plants while designing and placing your rocks. One of the more important things to do is provide adequate depth of good soil in the pockets around and between your rocks.

* Think of your rock garden as a collection of potted plants and tend them accordingly.

* It’s a good idea to look for plants that are native to your area. Usually they are more adapted to local conditions including soil, rocks, pest and disease.

* Your rock garden soil should be well drained. An exception to this is in small areas where you are achieving “micro-environments”.

* Mixing moderate amounts of compost and or peat moss to your rock gardens soil is good.

Flower & Plant Examples:

You are in control of the overall look and feel of your rock garden. Many landscapers choose smaller plants and flowers for their garden but it’s really up to you.

An advantage of the smaller flora is that their root systems don’t go as deep and require as much care and nutrients as the larger varieties. One of the reasons professionals chose smaller plans is that they are there to complement the rocks & boulders instead of overshadowing or hiding them.

Perennials are a good idea because you won’t need to disrupt the soil and rock areas as much every year. Wildflowers can be a good idea as well because if from the local area they are adapted to wet, dry, soil conditions, wind, and temperatures already.

Plant & Flower Examples for Rock Gardens:

  • Yarrow
  • Rock Cress
  • Alyssum – perennial
  • Barberry
  • Bellflower
  • Creeping Baby’s Breath
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Trailing Rosemary
  • Creeping Raspberry
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Yucca
  • Desert Bluebell
  • Strawflower
  • Dwarf Lavender
  • English Daisy
  • Phlox
  • Others…

Shrub & Tree Examples for Rock Gardens:

  • Dwarf Evergreens
  • Japanese Maple
  • Weeping Cedar
  • False Cypress
  • Russian Olive
  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Weeping Spruce
  • Dwarf White Pine
  • Others…